Jim Parsons was ready to step away from 'Big Bang Theory': 'We really wrung that material'

There's no crazy science behind why Jim Parsons was ready to retire his days as Sheldon Cooper on "The Big Bang Theory," he says it was just time to move forward.

After its 12-season run, making it TV's longest-running sitcom taped in front of a studio audience, the show finally came to and end, and Parsons shared that he's OK with the closing.

"I played the (expletive) out of that character, and some people could have done it longer probably — I don't mean our show, but this relationship with the character," Parsons told Variety for their Power of Pride issue. "But I feel like we really wrung that material for what it was."

The sitcom followed a group of quirky and socially awkward scientist friends comprised of Sheldon (Parsons), Leonard (Johnny Galecki), Howard (Simon Helberg), Raj (Kunal Nayyar) and their neighbor Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and friends Amy (Mayim Bialik) and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) as they tackled adulthood, friendship, marriage and their careers. 

However, 279 episodes and 12 years is a long time, especially in entertainment, which Parsons pointed out.

"The Stockholm Syndrome" - Pictured: Bernadette (Melissa Rauch), Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg), Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki), Penny (Kaley Cuoco), Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) and Rajesh Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar). Bernadette and Wolowitz leave their kids for the first time, Penny and Leonard try to keep a secret, Sheldon and Amy stick together, and Koothrappali makes a new friend as the gang travels together into an uncharted future, on the series finale of THE BIG BANG THEORY, Thursday, May 16 (8:30 - 9:00PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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"No matter how successful you are, even if you're a huge success in movies, you don't get to check into the same parking space for 12 years," he added. "This is not how someone in a creative profession normally gets to behave. Most human beings crave that structure, so I can see how it causes some hurricanes in the heart."

Though Parsons is ready to move on with his career, he couldn't help but take pride in how the character of Sheldon developed. As the most awkward character in the bunch, he made huge strides in his life whether it be marrying his wife Amy, or finally winning the Nobel Prize in physics. 

Despite his many changes, however, Parsons told USA TODAY in May that it was the way his character stayed the same that he loved the most.

“My very favorite thing about Sheldon is him not getting it, not understanding when certain things are said,” he says. “I’m cleaning out my dressing room, as we all are, and I found these pieces of paper from a (Season 3) episode where I have taken Penny to the emergency room. And I remember the scene vividly, reading, ‘When was your last menstrual cycle?’ And her just glaring at me. I’ll say one inappropriate thing after another. … We’ve gotten a lot of gold from that mine of just not getting it.”

More:How lovable 'Big Bang Theory' pals matured (well, not always) over the show's 12 seasons

Now that "The Big Bang Theory" has come to an end, Parsons and husband Todd Spiewak have moved from Los Angeles to New York where Parsons will reprise his role in Broadway's "The Boys in the Band" in a Netflix adaptation produced by Ryan Murphy. In 2018, Parsons starred in the 50th anniversary revival on stage.

The final episode of the CBS sitcom aired on May 16 and the spin-off "Young Sheldon," which acts as a prequel to the show, will continue to air on the same network.

Contributing: Bill Keveney